What is Water Baptism?
Water baptism is an outward act, which denotes or symbolizes an inward experience that has already taken place in the life of a believer in Jesus. The word “baptism” means “to dip, to immerse, or to submerge.” The act of immersing a new believer in water symbolizes two things: first, identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and second, identification with the Body of Christ, His church.
Where is water baptism mentioned in the Bible?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ...” (Matthew 28:19).
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:1-7).
What is the purpose of water baptism?
- Water baptism symbolizes our death, burial, and resurrection with Jesus Christ. It is an outward action that denotes the past inward experience of being born again (Romans 6:3-6).
- Water baptism is a celebration of our union with Christ.
- Water baptism is an open declaration that we are now believers and identified with Christ and His Church.
- Water baptism is one of the first acts of obedience to Christ.
Who is baptism for?
- Water baptism is for all who have truly accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts as Lord and Savior. “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
- All who have repented and received Christ should take the next step of water baptism.
Is water baptism a requirement to be saved?
No. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we are saved by grace and not by any of our own works. Titus 3:5 confirms this by saying that God saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy.